2018 Mastodon Valley Permaculture Design Course

June 16-24, 2018 – Driftless, WI


Humans evolved in savannas – grasslands with scattered trees and grazing mammals – the most diverse, productive, and functional ecosystems on Earth. We believe that savannas offer the ultimate model for healthy, sustainable, and permanent agriculture and food systems in many parts of the planet. As modern humans with unprecedented access to genetic and natural resources, we are capable of designing, planting, and maintaining abundant, beautiful and productive planet-healing ecosystems. Whether you call it farm-scale permaculture or regenerative agriculture, this is a very different type of land management than any since the dawn of agriculture, and requires a new (or very old) way of observing, relating to, and behaving in the natural world……

This 8-day PDC and farm-immersion course will get you up to speed on the ecological theory and practical skills you need to design and manage regenerative agro-ecosystems.

 Course Highlights:

  • Certified Permaculture Design Course
  • Experienced team of instructors with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives
  • Hyper local, beyond organic, paleo-friendly, regeneratively grown pastured meats and veggies, expertly prepared for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, everyday
  • A Permaculture Chef Seth Peterson will be cooking meals and sharing experiences at the intersection of preparing food and building community
  • Classroom and Lodging on the scenic Kickapoo River with daily kayaking and swimming opportunities
  • Pre-course webinars cover the basics, get everyone on the same page, and optimize our time together
  • Experience life on a working permaculture farm and off-grid homestead
  • Develop your own designs and receive feedback from other participants and instructors
  • Hands on work – surveying and laying out keylines, digging swales, planting trees, etc
  • Women in Permaculture – Leading women in permaculture will be sharing their all around badass skills and stories
  • Tour New Forest Farm with Mark Shepard to observe and learn from his maturing system, twenty years in the making
  • Tour Beyond Vineyard and Winery 

    with mIEKAL aND and taste the excellent small and unusual fruit wines, ciders, and meads from his permaculture orchard

  • Whole animal breakdown and butcher demonstration with Minneapolis butcher, meat manager, and good friend, Emma Schroeder
  • Learn how to fly a drone and create a 3D landscape model with Jim Barmore of Harrier Geographics
  • Solstice bonfire, community gathering, and hog roast featuring former Polyface apprentice and local farmer/chief Dan Solberg of Stack Farm and Foods.
  • Meet amazing people doing amazing things. This is always the highlight of our year. We think it’ll be the highlight of yours, too.
  • Join a growing network of regenerative agriculturalists providing continuing education and support

Course Topics:

  • Site assessment and reading the landscape
  • Multi-species rotational grazing
  • Holistic Management for farm and family decision-making
  • Keyline Design and water management
  • Perennial crop establishment, maintenance, and breeding
  • Grafting and orchard management
  • Nursery establishment
  • Appropriate technologies, building, and renewable
  • Homestead layout and design
  • Marketing and logistics
  • Land access and acquisition strategies
  • Farm start-up and cashflow strategies
  • Grants, cost-share, and funding opportunities
  • Enterprises, corporate structures, and taxes


Every year we bring together a team of leading permaculture practitioners, educators, farmers, and entrepreneurs to provide a diversity of perspectives, contexts, and and and experiences.


Head Instructors

Peter Allen

Peter is an ecologist-turned-farmer and applies his background researching and teaching ecology and complexity science towards the design, restoration, and management of diverse and agriculturally productive savanna ecosystems. He and his wife Maureen founded Mastodon Valley Farm, a 220-acre farm in Southwestern Wisconsin where they are developing an off-grid homestead, planting lots of trees, and grazing lots of animals.

Lindsay Rebhan

Based out of Hudson, WI, Lindsay designs permaculture systems from urban lots to broad-acre farms. Since 2005 she has worked with Ecological Design designing, implementing, and managing integrated edible working landscapes. Her current work involves consulting on issues of land use, creating perennial crop systems, and establishing whole farm management plans. After a year of working on permaculture farms in Guatemala including I’jatz Cooperative and Instituto Mesoamericano de Permacultura (IMAP), Lindsay became Program Director at Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate. For more than ten years, she has worked with farmers, local foods nonprofits and chefs in Minnesota to organize and strengthen cold climate permaculture networks. You can find Lindsay teaching her children how to grow food in their own gardens as well as on Twitter and Instagram.

Guest Instructors

Grant Schultz

Grant is the Founder of VersaLand and known in some circles as the “Mad Scientist of Permaculture”.  As a farmer-hacker-artist, Grant develops new tols and techniques for creating and managing agroecosystems, including GPS Keyline technology, custom tree planters, and electric tractors.  Leveraging a background in agricultural and commercial land management and brokerage, Grant will share innovative ways to gain land access, design a diverse farm, and create a broadacre permaculture farm that yields abundant rewards.


Maureen Allen 

Maureen is the Mastodon Valley head gardener, chef, herbalist and accountant. She’ll explain how to keep good records, file taxes, and best practices for farm accounting. She’ll also be sharing tips and techniques on holistic care for human and animal health.



Eliza Greenman

Eliza is an orchardist, fruit explorer, public speaker, farmer activist, and sometimes consultant. She’s been obsessed with learning about growing fruit trees since 2007. She’ll be fresh from a trip to Europe where she’ll be learning about traditional coppicing, pollarding, and tree hay production techniques. We’re super excited to learn from her again this year. Follow her blog at elizapples.com



mIEKAL has been practicing permaculture in the Driftless area for over 20 years at his home site at Dreamtime Village and more recently at his 40 acre Beyond Vineyard where he produces a diversity of small fruits for his eclectic and delicious permaculture winery. He’s a wealth of knowledge and will be giving several talks on small fruit production and sacred groves. He’ll also be giving us a tour of his vineyard and a provide a tasting of his wines.


A non-refundable deposit of $300 is necessary to secure your spot for the course. Tuition for the 2018 course is $1600 and includes:

  • 8 full days of classroom and hands-on learning and experience
  • Campground with access to bathroom, showers, electricity, and internet
  • 3 pre-course webinar sessions
  • Permaculture Design Certificate
  • Best Food Ever. Seriously. We know because we grow it – veggies, fruits and nuts, and pastured meats. Let us know your dietary needs and we can accommodate. 3 meals/day + locally roasted coffee, herbal teas, and snacks.
  • Access to an extensive library of permaculture, ecology, and agriculture books and resources during your stay.
  • Continuing support and education
  • A new crew of superbestfriends
  • Ask us about discounts for couples, active farmers, and military veterans
More Questions? Check out our Course FAQ

Register Here